What’s the point of scheduling, planning, organising, being efficient and getting more done in less time? Is it simply to be able to sit down and rest at the end of it all? Is it so that we can squeeze more work into our busy lives? My hopes for my family is that it gives us more time to spend together doing the things we enjoy.
Having extra time is all very well but if we don’t have a plan for how it is going to be used, it can simply get frittered away. Maybe we find ourselves filling that time with more work tasks, maybe we do just flop on the couch and spend it watching Netflix. When we have created more time but have not spent it effectively, we might as well have not made the effort at all and continued what we were previously doing, since we have gained nothing in return. We have worked hard for no actual benefit.
Of course many of us already have a very busy social life and by putting processes and routines in to place to assist us to get the work done, we can create mental space so that we can enjoy ourselves without thoughts of incomplete tasks encroaching on our fun. For others however, we need to be far more strategic in our thinking or we will waste our hard earned time. This is where having a plan can help.
There is no point creating extra time if we are going to waste it and that is easy to do if we haven’t thought in advance what we are going to use it for. Of course, people will argue that if you schedule and plan everything in your life then there is no opportunity for spontaneity. This may be true for some but not for me. It is impossible for me to be spontaneous if my head is still full of work tasks, they just get in the way. I can’t be spontaneous if I don’t have the time needed to take advantage of the opportunity when it comes my way. My argument is that we have created this time, we should plan how we are going to use it and if something altogether more exciting comes up we are free to alter our plans accordingly.
This is where using your to do list can be extremely useful. Whenever you come across an interesting activity, venue or idea for something to do with the family, note it down in its very own list. Then, when thinking about what you are going to do on Sunday afternoon for example, it’s a simple matter to go to the list, choose an interesting sounding activity and go and do that.
Asking the children what they want to do will often add some very interesting ideas to the list. Who knew they were dying to go to the trampoline centre, try out rollerblading or visit the petting zoo? This can be a great way of adding variety to the family fun times you have.
Create and use your extra time by following these 4 simple steps:
1) Put routines in place to make your work time more efficient
2) Encourage all members of the family to have their say about what they would like to do
3) Make a plan for how you will use the time that has been created and schedule it on the calendar
4) Think about the time as if it were as important as a business meeting and let nothing prevent you from making the most of it
Make time for family fun and then use it to spend quality time together.
What things do you enjoy doing together with your family? Let’s share some ideas so we can learn from each other.